A foreign exchange (forex) trader based in Kano State, Mr Abubakar Ibrahim, has landed in a bowl of hot soup over his failure to keep to his words. Mr Ibrahim had promised to deliver a 30-35% monthly return on investment (ROI) to an investor, who eventually gave him N7.6 million for a try.
It was gathered that the money was given to the suspect through one of his agents, Mr Umar Kabir, and after the investment, the 30 to 35% ROI was never delivered as promised. This prompted the investor to approach the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help him recover his hard-earned money.
According to the EFCC, which arraigned Mr Ibrahim before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, sitting in Kano, on Friday, October 16, 2020, on a five-count charge of money laundering, the suspect allegedly engaged in forex trading through his Flexus Global Investment without duly registering with SCUML (acronym for Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, issued by the EFCC).
SCUML was established by the federal government in September 2005 as part of measures for implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations on Anti- Money Laundering/Combating the Financing. It is charged with responsibility of monitoring, supervising and regulating activities of Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs).
At the court, the EFCC informed the judge that efforts to make the suspect refund the sum invested to the complainant were futile and when the charges were read to him, he pleaded “not guilty.”
“That you, Abubakar Ibrahim (being the Managing Director of Flexus Global Investment Ltd) while acting in such capacity, sometimes in 2019 in Kano, Kano State within the jurisdiction of this court, did fail to declare the existence of your company with Special Control Unit Against Money Laundry (SCUML) before commencing business under the name Flexus Global Investment Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 5(1) (a) (i) and punishable under Section 5(6) (a) & (b) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended),” one of the counts read.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Mr Michael Ojo, asked the court for a date to commence trial and that the accused person be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service. However, the defence counsel, H.A Hamza, urged the court to admit the defendant to bail. This bail application was granted by Justice Allagoa in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
The surety must be the owner of a landed property within Kano metropolis, which shall be verified by the registry of the court, the judge held and adjourned the case to November 19, 2020, for trial.